The great advantage to me is the depth of field. On m4/3 I can shoot at f/5.6 with the wide-angles I use mainly and get high shutter speeds. Since I hand-hold virtually everything this makes for sharp pictures. Using full-frame I'd need to be shooting at f/11 to get the same DOF.
All m4/3 cameras have good saturated colour, are sharp and with careful processing look very good indeed at low ISO's. The trade-off is reduced dynamic range, and that does take care to make sure it doesn't ruin pictures with a lot of contrast. Plus the fact that if I do want to take pictures at a high ISO rating then I have to accept that it will look inferior to larger sensors.
So all in all m4/3 are great cameras for what I do. Add in the fact that they are small and light, so are less of burden on days that involve a lot of walking and you can see why I've been so enthusuastic for them.
Olympus E-P3 14-42mm
So does the E-P3 give me any improvements over what I've used before.
ON THE PLUS SIDE
The AF is fast. Though the GH2 struck me as just as speedy.
The OLED screen is really very good indeed. Works with my polarised sunglasses. Still affected by sunlight but the best I've used.
The controls, menu, layout etc. are very similar to the E-PL's. Not perfect but I've got used to the Olympus layout now. Certainly way better than the Fuji X100 which I struggled with and a lot better than the E-P2.
The VF-2 electronic viewfinder is really good. I have no problem with the fact that its an add-on. I'm also convinced that the signal thats being fed into it is sharper and clearer than any other previous Pen.
I personally love the handling of the E-P3. The "rangefinder style" shape does suit me very well.
After a day using the kit lens, I think it is the best yet in terms of quality. Certainly it gives instant AF.
Though I need to see what the raw files can produce with decent software I certainly have no complaints so far.
If the 12mm f/2 and 45mm f/1.8 lenses perform as good as they look then the E-P3 will be a way of getting the best out of them as Panasonic cameras don't make all the"corrections" that this camera will.
ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE.
The loss of ISO 100. It may be the case that ISO 200 on the E-P3 is as good as ISO 100 on the E-P2, but I cannot confirm or deny that yet.
Using manual focus lenses is still more fiddly than with the Panasonics.
Very poor battery life.
An articulated screen would have been nice.
One of the reasons I've gone with Olympus rather than Panasonic is I suppose a question of philosophy. Olympus are a camera / optical company only. Panasonic are an electronics multi-national. Olympus, for me, have the edge in terms of design, style and if you like a respect for the traditions and conventions of camera manufacture and what makes them work for photographers. That's a personal thing I know, but I'm much happier working with something like the E-P3 rather than the current Panasonic or Sony small camera systems.
I think I'll enjoy using the E-P3. Certainly yesterday was a good start.
Olympus E-P3 14-42mm
Finally a bit more camera porn. The E-P3 fitted with a Nikon 24mm f/2.8D.